As we begin a new year, we’d like to bring you up-to-date on the exciting highlights of 2012.
Sustained by our diligent volunteers the ship was continually cleaned, polished, and received minor repairs. Two new masts and other spars were made for Virginia, and in early April at an event at Lyon Shipyard the new masts were “stepped” according to tradition, and two new 2012 coins placed under the masts along with the two original coins from her first mast stepping in 2005. In May, Virginia partnered with Nauticus and the Elizabeth River Project for a summer camp that featured Virginia and the Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge. We anticipate continuing a partnership with Nauticus’s Community Sailing Center in 2013.
In June, Virginia had a signature role in OpSail 2012 Virginia serving as the designated turn vessel during the event’s Parade of Sail. She had the distinct privilege of hoisting the 30’ x 42’ replica flag of the War of 1812 as the lead ship, the USCG Eagle, made the turn to her mooring on the Norfolk waterfront. It was a moving, once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness. Public tours were held throughout the weekend and many visitors expressed their excitement about her return.
In October, after a two-year absence, Virginia competed in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and performed admirably.
On November 23, she departed Norfolk under charter to the Ocean Classroom Foundation,
Preparing Virginia for the charter was an expensive but worthwhile proposition. While we had generous support from members of the Virginia Ship Repair Association, the local maritime community, and our volunteers, we incurred many expenses necessary for operating in the open ocean. New batteries, repairs to the radar and other navigation and communications systems, main engine repairs, and installation of a fire alarm system are among the many accomplishments. Haul out at the Chesapeake Boat Yard in Deltaville facilitated renewal of the ABS load line survey and the USCG Certificate of Inspection needed for “Oceans” navigation.
Virginia departed in outstanding condition but there is a great need for your continued support in order to protect the investment we have made and ensure that our wonderful schooner is maintained in top-notch condition. This investment will allow us to serve our community by providing youth sail training to children while operating in Virginia waters.
There is no question we have rounded the buoy leading to a bright future, but our need continues. With your support, Virginia will surely experience fair winds and following seas.
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